Iraqi Kurds Overwhelming Back Secession on High Turnout

Early Count Shows Vast Majority Favor Independence

Polls have closed in Iraqi Kurdistan, and while there are a lot of questions about what’s going to happen next, one thing that’s not in serious doubt is the results. With some 78% of voters having gone to referendum, the final figures are still expected with 72 hours.

Early counts show what everyone suspected though, that it’s not going to be close. The first 300,000 votes, admittedly less than 10% of the count, showed 93.4% voting yes. A wide majority was always expected.

Iraqi Kurdistan has long sought independence, as has the rest of Kurdistan, which spans Syria, Turkey, and Iran. The part in Iraq, however, was very clear about having a vote as soon as the ISIS war was over, and they’ve been basically on their way out the door since.

The referendum was just an up and down vote on secession in general, but questions about the specific boundaries, especially after Kurdistan seized substantial new territory in the ISIS war, remain to be resolved.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of